One of the main specializations in the field of Advanced Building Materials is study and evaluation of the structure and microstructure of materials and raw materials with the aim of determining the most significant properties necessary for their optimum application in building materials. An integral part of the comprehensive testing of materials is the monitoring and exploration of the causes of degradation processes that affect them. This is carried out in combination with the development of procedures for improving material durability. The latest destructive and non-destructive test methods are used for studying the structure and microstructure of materials while simultaneously developing new methods and procedures for verifying their properties.
The modern instrumentation allows:
- comprehensive evaluation of the properties of building materials;
- analysis of the microstructure of materials, including the determination of the phase composition of examined materials and the determination of the contents of subcomponents;
- 3D visualization of the micro-and macrostructure of examined materials;
- analysis of the behavior of materials at different temperatures of up to 1600°C;
- detection and localization of faults and defects in materials; monitoring of the development of material deformation, and the development of cracks and corrosion;
- simulation of the action of aggressive effects to assess the durability of building materials;
- evaluation of the environmental impact of selected materials;
- modelling and simulation of the properties of materials based on findings obtained by experimental testing;
- complex material and technological solutions for the repair of existing structures.
Another important field that the research of Advanced Building Materials specializes in is research and development in the area of new building materials and advanced production technologies, including the optimization of existing production processes. The group’s activities in this field are aimed at the development of advanced materials with higher utility parameters and durability with the main focus on sulphurous, siliceous and cement-free binders, modern concrete technologies, ceramics, woods, polymeric and insulating materials.
The special instrumentation allows:
- testing of self-compacting, high performance, ultra-high-strength, sprayed and more fire resistant concrete;
- determination of volume changes in materials under different temperatures and humidity conditions;
- determination of the physical and chemical characteristics of building materials;
- comprehensive testing of the rheological properties of fresh composites;
- testing of thermally insulating, acoustic, diffusion and other physical properties;
- proposals for the optimum utilization of secondary and renewable raw materials as a substitute for primary raw materials, and in the development of new building materials;
- simulation of climatic effects on building materials, and the forecasting of their life span;
- monitoring of the effects of different temperature loads and their cycling on the durability of building materials;
- simulation of the behavior and durability of building materials and components in chemically aggressive environments of all types;
- comprehensive engineering testing of concretes, binders, aggregates, plasters and ceramic products in an accredited testing laboratory;
- diagnostics tests and assessments (technical surveys of structures, expert opinions) of building materials in structure;
- experiments in test furnaces and devices for imposing extreme stress on building materials, components and structures (determining their reaction to fire, evaluation of fire resistance).